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Domestic Partnerships Guiding You Through Difficult Times

Ventura Domestic Partnership Attorneys

California Domestic Partnership Laws

Provisions governing California domestic partnerships can be found in the California Family Code. A domestic partnership is established when two parties meet certain criteria as specified by these laws.

How Can I Form a Registered Domestic Partnership in California?

To form a registered domestic partnership, each individual needs to file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership and fulfill the following criteria:

  • Both individuals are 18 years old (some exceptions are allowed)
  • The individuals cannot be blood related
  • Both individuals cannot be married or in another domestic partnership
  • Both individuals must consent to the domestic partnership
  • Both are members of the same sex or one or both is/are eligible for Social Security benefits and over *62 years old (this has been updated – see below)

*Governor Newsom signed a bill on July 30, 2019 redefining who is eligible for a registered domestic partnership, allowing opposite-sex couples under the age of 62 the option to form such a partnership. This new law was put into effect on January 1, 2020.

How Can I Terminate a Registered Domestic Partnership in California?

A domestic partnership can also be terminated under certain conditions. All these conditions are set forth in the California Family Code and must be met or the domestic partnership will be terminated through proceedings in California Superior Court.

California Domestic Partnerships & Same-Sex Marriages

The California Supreme Court issued a major decision on May 15, 2008 regarding same-sex marriages, which did not invalidate or change any of the California Family Code statutes related to registered domestic partners.

  • Registered domestic partnerships will continue to be active on California’s domestic partnership registry
  • The California Secretary of State will continue to process domestic partnership-related filings as permitted by the domestic partnership law.

If you have questions about how the California Supreme Court’s decision may apply to your circumstances, contact us online.

How Domestic Partnership Separations Work

A domestic partnership separation is treated just like a typical divorce. However, regardless of the situation, you should find an experienced attorney who has helped people with their child support, child custody, visitation, and/or property division case.

Do Registered Domestic Partners Have the Same Legal Rights as Spouses in California?

California law states that Registered Domestic Partners have many of the same rights as spouses. These rights include:

  • The ability to add a partner to state-administered health insurance benefits
  • The right to inheritance, should one partner die
  • The ability to raise a child born during the partnership
  • The ability to adopt a child born before the partnership
  • The right to own community property
  • The ability to take their domestic partner’s last name or combine their last names

How Our Ventura Domestic Partnership Lawyers Can Serve You

At SANTO MEHAS, negotiated settlement is always our preferred method of choice. In the event this is not possible, we are also able to help litigate your domestic partnership in court.

We take pride in the way we communicate and serve our clients. With us, there will always be someone available at our office to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Fill out a contact us form online or give us a call at (805) 222-7818 for help with your domestic partnership case. 

An Emphasis on Strong Family Values

Our firm places a strong emphasis on the importance of family values. The balance between maintaining these family values and generating a better future for you and your family is one we strive to achieve with each case. Our values consist of:
  • Holistic Approach

    We aim to resolve conflict so you and your family can move on peacefully. We approach all aspects of a case, including the emotional, financial, and mental components, and advocate with you throughout.

  • Collaboration

    Collaborative divorce can be a great option for spouses looking to share joint custody of their child/children and the court looks favorably on this decision. When possible, we strive to come to a resolution that will benefit both spouses.

  • Children Come First

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.

  • Compassionate Legal Services

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.

Our Satisfied Clients

Real Stories from Real People
  • “I feel fortunate to have a law firm like Santo Mehas in my corner.”

    I feel fortunate to have a law firm like Santo Mehas in my corner. I always felt like I was the most important client they had no matter what the issue was that I was dealing with. Michael Mehas and Donna Santo are accessible, compassionate and incredibly focused on getting me the best outcome for my family and business legal issues. This has been a true blessing to me over the years, and the relief I have felt the times I have dealt with them has made running my business and personal life much smoother. I have also recommended them to several of my friends and clients and I would do so again without hesitation in the future.

    - Chris K., LA MassagePro
  • “It’s like a family & they wanna make sure your family is well taken care of”

    I needed assistance ASAP! I called many firms & I was turned away due to COVID & the emergency of my case. I contacted Donna & Michael & they were there so fast, helped me prep, told me what to expect, what they needed from me & explained the processes. I highly recommend their services but be prepared to go to battle because Donna & Michael will literally go into that battle & win it. I have had great experiences with them as a professional team & know when I need them they are there to help, guide & support. It’s like a family & they wanna make sure your family is well taken care of. I appreciate them so much. Thank you.

    - Erika
  • “Professional, Experienced, Real!”

    Deciding to file for divorce was by far one the most difficult decisions I have had to make. Having no idea where to start, who to believe, where to go, Donna was recommended by a friend. Upon calling her office, I was able to make an appointment right away. When I met with her, she listened to me attentively, asked questions and she explained the process from beginning to end. She did not sugar coat anything, she clearly explained all the different scenarios that I was facing, specific to my divorce and child custody matters. Donna helped me during the most overwhelming and stressful time in my life. I am grateful for her support and guidance throughout the entire process, I could not have do ne it on my own.

    - Tiffany
  • “I would definitely recommend their firm for anyone!”
    The Santo Mehas team has been exceptional in handling my case. They are very experienced, have given me good advice and representation, and they have worked on my particularly complex case almost as if I were family. They have shown support beyond professionally, but also personally. They have worked with me financially, and are very fair and understanding. I would definitely recommend their firm for anyone who needs family law assistance!
    - Heather L.
  • “I would trust them with any of my needs”
    “I would trust them with any of my needs.”
    - Ron H.
  • “They were there for me from the beginning to the end”
    “They were there for me from the beginning to the end”
    - Lawrence J.
  • “She and her staff are professional with decades of experience.”

    I recommend Donna Santo and her staff. She and her staff are professional with decades of experience. They understand the law and how family law cases are heard in the courts. I had an extremely complex custody case with dozens of health professionals, collateral contacts, and opinions floating around. There were so many accusations, crisis, and charges; and every one of them felt extremely important to me. My concerns were serious, and the innumerable quantity along with counter accusations overwhelmed the courts. Donna's office was able to sift through and make sense of things to help get things on track. Donna's office took the time to relate this to the courts in a logical digestible manner for the best possible outcome. It took time. I needed to trust. She knows her stuff, and is strong at the right times.

    - Jason
  • “Santo Mehas what a great team”
    - Alice D.